19 November 2014

Coping without Resorting

My goodness, this has been a brutal week. Both girls are pretty sick. And by pretty I mean ugly. A river of snot running from each nostril, pooling on the upper lip; long nights where even a blanket under one side of the mattress can't help the congestion; medicine dolled out at the earliest possible opportunity; regular trips to the bathroom with a warm wash cloth to clean off dried snot; a bottle of spray-on hand sanitizer in my pocket for quick spritzes in between wiping this girl's nose and that girl's nose and grabbing a quick bite of a sandwich I made an hour ago, but still haven't eaten.

Even though I'm six months into this "two against one" thing, I still have times when it's tough to juggle; like when both girls are sick. The desire to let a movie run on repeat on the laptop and get pizza for dinner is overwhelming. I'm trying to build up the self control and learn to get through life without resorting to "hell is breaking loose" mode just because the day is hard. I used to want to beg Matt to stay home from work on days when both girls are sick, but I've fought through that temptation enough and now I know I can handle it. Progress, you know. Anyway. There are going to be 1,000 more days in my life when both girls are sick and I barely slept a wink and yet somehow I have to manage to keep the house together.

I'm not saying there aren't times when pizza and movies won't be the order of the day, but I don't want them to be the order of my day when we're just batting an intense common cold. Eight days ago I realized that we've been eating out way too much lately (always under the guise of "I'm so tired - what a tough day!") so I vowed that we wouldn't eat out no matter what until this weekend. It has meant eggs or pancakes for dinner and sometimes I don't even start them until Matt gets home, but it's better than wasting money and calories on take out. Plus making a goal and sticking to it does wonders for the self esteem.

One of the unforeseen benefits of sticking to my guns on movies and fast food during cold season is that success begets success. Somehow I've managed to keep the dishes and the laundry in check. Once the movie and take out temptations begin to fade, my next goal will be to reign in the chocolate face-stuffing that occurs when I get stressed.

But all bets are off when I get sick. Oh goodness, not much progress has been made in that department. One step at a time, I guess.

I'm not saying that things shouldn't slip a little when the girls are sick - I certainly lower my standards of household cleanliness, spend the entire day in pajamas, watch an embarrassingly large pile of trash-to-be-taken-out grow in the laundry room. And I'm not saying that I'm going to have these standards forever - maybe we will watch movies all day if/when we have four or five sick kids, and if I had twins? Oh goodness, I can't even imagine trying to cope with two sick infants on top of a sick toddler.

But I am saying that I personally feel like shit when I let Abigail spend the day on electronic devices and get take out twice a week when the girls have colds. And I don't like feeling like shit when I'm not even sick myself. So I'm doing what I can to spend less time stewing in regret and guilt.

I'm also saying that I'm about ready to pay my children to leave their socks on. Especially when they're sick. And then there's Cat. Poor Cat.

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